Today, our own Meegan Gregg, Director of Citizen Outreach, has been invited and is participating in a planning workshop in advance of a Civic Initiative Kickoff Summit at the White House scheduled for later this summer.

Meegan will join civic innovation leaders from around the country in civic and government technology and political engagement to help build President Obama's new Civic Initiative. Participants in the workshop today form the President's Administration include the Director of Public Engagement, Paulette Aniskoff, the Director of the Domestic Policy Council, Cecilia Muñoz, and the U.S. Chief Technology Officer, Megan Smith, as well as other senior Administration officials.

We are ecstatic that the President and his Administration recognize that any discussion about innovating voter engagement and "Civic Tech" necessarily must include the processes and technology of voting -- a vital aspect of "Gov Tech."  After all, no amount of civic engagement innovation will help if the act of voting itself is a difficult, inconvenient, and at times unreliable process.

This initiative, which was catalyzed during the President's fireside chat at this year's SXSW in Austin, TX will focus on a number of civic engagement issues, and primarily voter participation, including engaging people on a local level with their elected officials on an ongoing basis. We are honored to have been invited, and Meegan looks forward to contributing to this vital issue of participatory democracy. 

Of course, we are convinced that participation is more than registering to vote and engaging in activities to educate and prepare to vote. The single most important act, in our view, is casting a ballot itself.  To us, that is the heart of voter participation, and it is that act that is our civic duty and civil right.  And it is our mission to innovate the processes by improving the technology to administer all aspects of elections, especially the casting and counting of ballots. 

Meegan looks forward to sharing what we know of the challenges, problems, and literal risks of our failing voting machinery, and what we intend to do to solve that persistent problem.  We believe that we're all entitled to an easy, convenient, and reliable voting experience.  Absent that, participation is bound to be depressed or worse. 

This will be an enjoyable event and informative event, and an important gathering to advance the President's initiative and vision for bringing our participatory democracy into the digital age.  We look forward to sharing Meegan's participation.  Stay tuned!